Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What do you?
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Gregory The Dialogist
21. God ‘questions suddenly’ when He calls us unexpectedly to the strict searching of His scrutiny. But man cannot answer to His questioning, for that, if he be then sifted, all pity laid aside, even the life of the righteous sinks under the scrutiny. Or, surely, He questions, when He deals us hard blows, that, when the mind entertains great thoughts of itself in peace and quiet, it may find itself out in trouble, what sort it really is of. And very commonly because it is smitten, it utters groans; but it is unable to make answer, because the very distastefulness of his stroke is displeasing to him, yet looking to himself man holds his peace, and dreads to scrutinize the Divine decrees, because he knows himself to be but dust. Hence it is said by Paul, Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? [Rom. 9, 20] He that is called by the name of ‘man’ (homo) is proved to be unable to ‘reply against God.’ For by this circumstance, that he was taken from the dust of the earth [e], he is not worthy to scrutinize the judgments of the Most High. Hence too it is fitly subjoined here,
Or, who will say unto Him, What doest Thou?
22. The acts of our Maker ought always to be reverenced without examining, for they can never be unjust. For to seek a reason for His secret counsel is nothing else than to erect one's self in pride against His counsel. So when the motive of His acts cannot be discovered, it remains that we be silent under those acts in humility, for the fleshly sense is not equal that it should penetrate the secrets of His Majesty. He then who sees no reason in the acts of God, on considering his own weakness does see reason wherefore he sees none. Hence also it is added by Paul afterwards, Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me so? For in proportion as it sees itself to be ‘a thing formed’ by God's workmanship, it rebukes itself so as not to kick back against the hand of Him that wrought it; for He, Who in loving-kindness exalted what was not, never in injustice abandons that which is. So let the mind be brought to itself under the stroke, and what it cannot comprehend, let it cease to require, lest if the cause of God's wrath be searched out, It be called forth in larger measure for being searched out, and lest wrath, which humility might have pacified, pride kindle to an unextinguishable height.